Naveen Jindal vs Zee News: Two top TV executives held for ‘extortion’
The arrests came eight weeks after Congress MP Naveen Jindal’s Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) filed an FIR on October 2, alleging that the Zee executives had demanded Rs 100 crore in committed advertising from JSPL in return for dropping an investigation launched by their two channels on the alleged undue benefits accrued to Jindal in the allocation of coal blocks by the UPA government.
Zee issued a statement “vehemently denying all allegations levelled against it”, and strongly protesting the “crude and direct attack on the freedom of the press”.
JSPL had accused the Zee group, Chaudhary and Ahluwalia of criminal conspiracy, intimidation and defamation, and alleged that Zee group chairman Subhash Chandra and his son Puneet Goenka were part of the conspiracy.
JSPL had also given police video and audio recordings of at least three meetings between JSPL officials and Chaudhary and Ahluwalia on September 13, 17 and 19 in Delhi’s Hyatt Regency hotel.
Police said on Tuesday that Chaudhary and Ahluwalia were arrested after forensic analysis showed that the video and audio clips had not, as the two journalist-executives had alleged, been “edited” or “doctored”.
SBS Tyagi, deputy commissioner of police (Crime Branch), said, “Chaudhary and Ahluwalia have